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News/Business. Tamron Hall. Tamron Hall provides context and informed perspectives on the stories making headlines. New.

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Virginia 13, Us 12, Harry Reid 5, Lyrica 5, Pennsylvania 4, Nbc 4, Obama 4, Michigan 4, Cairo 4, S&p 3, Geico 3, Pete Williams 3, Dennis 3, U.s. 3, Washington 3, Allstate 2, Bobby Jindal 2, Kerry 2, Mark Murray 2, Rnc 2,
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  MSNBC    News Nation    News/Business. Tamron Hall. Tamron Hall provides context and  
   informed perspectives on the stories making headlines. New.  

    January 25, 2013
    11:00 - 12:00pm PST  

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from dedicated, professional financial consultants. it's guidance on your terms, not ours. that's how our system works. e-trade. less for us. more for you. hi, everybody. i'm thomas roberts in for tamron hall on assignment today. "news nation" following the republican party's big plan for renewal. rnc meeting in charlotte for ways to expand its appeal in time for the next presidential election. within the last hour, the rnc re-electing priebus to party chairman. >> we must compete in every state and every region, building relationships with communities we haven't before. at the rnc, we're dropping the red and blue state analysis. we must be a party concerned
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about every american and every neighborhood. >> all right. so louisiana's governor jindal addressing members last night and today is making headlines for this very frank assessment. >> we've got to stop being the stupid party. and i'm serious. it is time for a new republican party that talks like adults. it is time for us to articulate our plans and vision for america in real terms. we had a number of republicans that damaged the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments. we have had enough of that. >> we have real challenges and we did get whipped at the -- in the presidential election and that's not something that we take lightly. >> meanwhile, the gop catching flack for proposed changes to the electoral college system that would make it easier for them to win presidential elections. republicans in michigan, ohio, pennsylvania and virginia want to award electoral college votes based on congressional
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districts. these are all gop controlled states that president obama won in the last two election cycles and our first read team writes, the republicans pushing the idea are all but acknowledging that their problems heading in to 2016 so significant they have to change the rules in order to win. in other words, they are throwing in the towel and trying to rig the system. let's talk more about this and bring in our political panel politico's anna palmer, strategist chris kofinis and msnbc contributor michael smerkonish. there's a lot to dive in this afternoon, big news this afternoon that priebus will stay as the head of rnc as they soul search what they want to be as a party moving forward, how to expand the tent doors there. take a listen to how haley barbour responded to the comments of governor jindal of the republicans being the party
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of stupid. >> point he made is xlakt exactly right. when you consider what two candidates, indiana and iowa, the comments they made were stupid comments, offensive comments and today's world when a candidate in one state says something, the negative effect of that can spill over to lots of other candidates and bobby jindal was exactly right. >> is this gop soul searching goes on, it's more about the actions of the party than it is the words. so what kind of deeds will this party put in place to show that they're willing to allow more people in instead of pushing people out? >> not only, thomas, do they have to change their tone and stop being the party that is too old, too male, too white and too angry, but they need to change the nomination process because what i'm hearing thus far is all about the brand and they're not
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dealing with the fact that those candidates who play crazy, they win republican primaries. how do they win republican primaries? because only idealogues take part in the process. they're still going to have them nominate something like christine o'donnell and then lose a general election. >> looking at the party to look at in terms of their future, a lot of people are looking at their past and what they can learn from that. in "forbes" today they write about the republican idea machine saying it may be hard to remember but republicans were an idea machine and churned out innovative policy ideas for addressing public policy issues. today, not so much. the republicans seem to be a vacuum is the common complaint of friends on the right. is that the biggest thing to learn about the gop is that they're not really churning out
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the ideas anymore, what they say is no all the time to the big ideas coming up on the hill? >> i think what we are seeing is on issues like immigration, for instance, a nonstarter, you know, in the past two years, that they're really now taking a -- trying to take a lead because they see this as one of the issues if they don't make inroads with the hispanic voters they will have a hard time winning in a lot of states and the presidency. >> all right. so when you talk about getting out and expanding this tent, priebus gave a statement saying simple outreach will not suffice. let's stop talking about reaching out and start working on welcoming in. chris, they have an uphill battle coming to that because the damage has been done and this is not something that you can reverse overnight, is it? >> no. i mean, if you look at the most recent nbc/"wall street journal" poll the favorable of the
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republicans is low. this is damage that's been building up for years. and what they have con fronted, i think, is this demographic and cultural shift in the country, moving to more progressive and moderate collection in terms of a lot of the social issues that the republican party used to use to divide and win elections. whether that was on abortion, whether that was on play marriage or immigration. the issues don't play very well anymore. they play well in maybe certain particular red states but not nationally and states to win for the senate or the president sane the question is in the months and years ahead, what will they do that's different on policy? no one knows because the reality is they're talking about window dressing and not substantive changes in policy. >> talking about that, it's not so much the candidate, it's not so much the policy that might get them elected, it could be
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the rules in general because the other big talker today about the fact that there could be changes coming when -- the makeup of the electoral college system, specifically in virginia. now, we want to show everybody that the states proposing and considering these changes, virginia, ohio, michigan and pennsylvania. now, there is a key republican who opposes the electoral vote change. it's virginia state senator ralph smith telling the "roanoke times" he opposed the changes. calling it a bad idea. michael, is this the wrong approach? if the gop is trying to rebrand itself with big ideas and include people, getting the moniker or the label of being the underhanded people that are going to change the rules is not how they want to start the rebranding. >> i think the romney campaign suffered in the recent election because there's a perception of many that the minority vote is being suppressed by the rule changes that were being put in to place in states like florida.
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we saw the long lines and scaled back the hours for voting and if this is perceived like that was, then it's a big net negative for the gop and one other thing, if this is successful in these states, i imagine there will be a move afoot in the country to say, let's just go popular vote everywhere. and that will benefit the democratic party long term because of the shifting demographics in this country. >> there's a florida house speaker republican that doesn't agree with republican efforts around the country as we talk about these other four states but not agree with the efforts around the country to change up the way that the votes allocated and in the "miami herald," in a football game, have three quarters because we were winning and beat us in the fourth. i don't think we need to change the rules of the game but get better. priebus just re-elected. chris, he says i think it's something that a lot of states that have been consistently blue that are fully controlled red
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ought to be looking at. it is not my decision from the rnc. that's for sure. he is the new leader of the rnc and it's -- aren't you looking for leadership? isn't leadership about casting the big vision? if you know this is an underhanded idea to change the rules, don't you look to leadership to say we shouldn't go about doing it this way? we need to win the old-fashioned way? >> it is not even winning the old-fashioned way but winning elections the way they should be won. so i mean, it's petty politics at its worse. right? you lose an election they thought they were going to win and so let's change the rules so at least it gives us a better chance at winning. again, ignoring the problem. not how the electoral college is distributed. it's the fact that demographically they have major problems with women, with hispanics, the young voters, with key demographic blocs to determine which candidate and which party does well in the future and until they address that reality, they're gong to
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keep playing the political games that actually ends up alienating the very people they're trying to win over. >> looking at immigration reform, anna, is that the only area where it's logical right now for republicans to take the lead in terms of owning that issue and trying to provide something that makes common sense, that's a compromised approach with democrats but looks like they're on the forefront of that and leading and not being dragged in to some kind of compromise so that they can get the latino vote and people breasted back in their party? >> i think it is one of the key issues that you are going to see. i mean, we have already seen senator rubio try to lead on and this and talk to conservative radio folks and try to get their -- some forward offense there to get cover if they do a grand bargain and heard today governor jindal said it's time to really throw the playbook. he wants to try and really start to rewrite the way on fiscal policy an says, you know, you
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can't be owned by washington. you will see the 2016 candidates trying to come up with some new ideas different maybe than the standard gop party line. >> coming out of the gate calling them stupid, michael, the best way to get people to rally behind you like bobby jindal might be in. >> it probably helps you with the electorate but it doesn't help you with the party apparatus that you need to put together that nomination battle. >> stupid is as stupid does and makes headlines, that's for sure. >> it does. >> thanks so much. i appreciate your time. president obama today making official what many were expecting, he named top national security add vidser dennis mcdonough as the next chief of staff. while announcing the new appointment, the president called him tough but also humble. >> i know you will always give it to me straight. as only a friend can. telling me not only what i want
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to hear but more importantly what i need to hear to make the best decisions on behalf of the american people. >> described him as a devout man involved in every major foreign policy decision of this administration. following breaking news. an appeals court ruling of his appointments unconstitutional. i'll speak with pete williams about what it means for the president and the white house. plus, georgia republican senator chambliss announced his re retirement and republicans say it's one of the best pickup opportunities for the cycle. and you can always join our conversation on twitter. we've all had those moments. when you lost the thing you can't believe you lost. when what you just bought, just broke. or when you have a little trouble a long way from home... as an american express cardmember
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new developing news of washington, d.c. a federal appeals court deals a big blow to the president ruling the recess appointments of last january are unconstitutional. the court's decision is a significant victory for republicans who sued the administration and opposed the appointments including that of richard cordray. the president formally nominated him to that position yesterday at the white house and blamed republicans for forcing his hand on that appointment in the first place. nbc justice correspondent pete williams joins us with the fallout of today's ruling and where this goes from here. explain how it came down and not so much about cordray but two other appointments, as well. >> reporter: three, in fact. it's a fight of the president's appointments. three members to the nation allay boar relations board. several groups suing the lrb, this specific case, a bottler in the northwest. he said they can't do that because the appointments were
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improper and therefore they didn't have a quorum. the court agreed with him sunny saying that a president can make recess appointments only during, quote, the recess. which the court said is the single break between the two sessions of congress and the president can only make nominations for vacancies that arise during those recesses. for both reasons, they say that the nominations -- recess appointments to the nlrb and cordray to the condition summer protection board unconstitutional. this is a big victory for republicans. a set back for the administration but let's broaden this out. presidents of both parties have done this. both parties in control of the senate have done this little charade where they say here we are. we'll be back tomorrow. we are not in recess and both presidents have also tried to make recess appointments in the
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odd little breaks in the senate sessions. so, if this decision holds and it's undoubtedly i think appealed to the supreme court, the white house was really pushing back on it. white house spokesperson jay carney said it's novel, unprecedented. contradicts practice. likely going to the supreme court and if the court agrees with this ruling today, it will scale back power that presidents of both parties using well over a century. >> pete, does that mean it negates everything back for cordray? let's use him as an example. negates the work back to january of 2012 and what's that mean for things implemented if this is deemed to not be a standing appointment? >> sure. by itself, today's ruling does nothing to the -- what the consumer fraud protection board did. consumer finance protection board. but it certainly is a blueprint for someone to challenge what
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it's done. >> sure. >> and so then the question would be, what has that body done in which his presence was critical? very different for the nlrb. it is like a voting board and if you don't have a quorum, you don't decisions and actions. the question is, whether things that the cfpb that they could have done whether he was there or not. it's more complicated and opens the door to challenge at least some of the actions the board has taken. >> nbc's pete williams from d.c. thanks so much. i appreciate it. >> you bet. rhode island's marriage equality bill on the senate after overwhelmingly passing the house. coming up, what the fate of the bill hinges on. we'll dive deep on that. plus, why did harry reid decide not to take big action to weaken the filibuster? a deal reached between reid and senator mitch mcconnell prompting harkin to say the president might as well take a four-year vacation. they'll go to where they can get the skills,
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in today's money minute, let's take a look at the markets right now. the dow and the s&p 500, ever closer now to the record highs with the dow jones up by 56. the s&p up by 7. and the nasdaq up by 20. but green arrows across the board, very strong closing out the week. it is an all-time high that was set back on october 19th of 2007, the s&p is about 63 points from the closing high that was also set back on october the 9th of 2007. something to watch there. meantime, this is treasury secretary tim geithner's last day on the job and the legacy debated. joining me is zach carabel. so debate it. explain why dwaebt it. >> debate it? people feel like whatever happened in 2009 in terms of the
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bailout of the banks was a very privileged, selective use of government and public moneys to save selected group of people and allow other people, particularly the millions with the homes foreclosed to fend for themselves and the market rally, not just today but the markets doing extremely well over the past months, it kind of depend. great if you're in the markets and right if you have a 401(k) you are in the market but most people don't have a 401(k). many people do. >> when we talk about his legacy, is it really going to be the phrase to big too fail? >> i think that's what's stuck to him right now. whatever sticks to someone in realtime, you know, may or may not -- >> perception is reality. >> but only reality for the time that it's reality. meaning, truman went out of office with the lowest public approval ratings of man kind and what history says about timothy geithner we leave to the future in that it's clear there's systemic stability. we can debate about whether or
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not we are where we are want to be and going to go where we want to go. but i think it's very difficult to make the argument we're worse off today than we were in the early part of 2009. and insofar as geithner was part of the mix of policy that created some level of stability, may have picked winners. that's a separate discussion. in my view, at least, the fact we are where we are today and talk about the problems without panicking owes something to his stewardship. >> with hindsight being 20/20 and the economy they walked in to and kept falling down the hill -- >> right. >> -- even once they get in to office and often there's instability after a new president but major instability -- >> the free fall. >> correct. they had a long way to go to hit the bottom before they could build it back up. >> i'm not sure they knew when they went in to the office. included geithner and summers and roamer. i think they were -- >> didn't do a full house
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inspection. like bought it sight unseen. >> and then there's mold. >> the pipes are leaking. >> bad news. a lot of maintenance to be done and interesting, geithner's taken probably more heat from the left than from the right. meaning, the administration's as a whole we know is not a favorite of the republican party and the right. but geithner has been a real bugaboo from the left of a perception of a creature of an industry survived and tloohrive and the rest stagnated. i take the view that the economic system, the financial system has a lot of faults and utility and if the lights go out, you got to get the lights to go on. if the financial system imploeds, we need it that functions. >> what do people say in back rooms about jack lew? >> he is a cipher. he has a momentary career on wall street and led citigroup's alternative asset management. i don't think anyone knows and
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not talking about that but kerry and other things is that we're not in crisis mode. the treasury secretary is not usually the primary figure in a president's cabinet the way geithner was for a few times. >> that's remarkable. we have come a long way and not the primary focus for now. great to see you. >> you, too, sir. virginia lawmakers could vote next week on awarding votes by congressional district. coming up, how the move could affect virginia's status as a swing state. do you think presidential elections should be decided by the electoral college or the popular vote? be sure to check out the "news nation" tumblr page. [ male announcer ] here's a word that could give you peace of mind. unbiased. some brokerage firms are. but way too many aren't. some of the ones that push mutual funds with their names on them -- aren't. why? because selling their funds makes them more money.
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political postscript and it started with president obama's second inauguration and was also highlighted by secretary of hillary clinton's testimony on benghazi and senator john kerry's confirmation hearing to be the next secretary of state. >> progress does not compel us to settle centuries long debates about the role of government for all time. but it does require us to act in our time. >> with all due respect, the fact is we had four dead americans. was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk and decided to kill some americans? what difference at this point does it make? it is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator. >> i would take office as secretary proud that the senate is in my blood. but equally proud that so, too, is the foreign service. >> senator kerry referring there to his father serving as a
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diplomat. so he grew up as a child of a diplomat. as for president obama's remark there aiming to get congress to find some common ground, the senate last night approved changes to the filibuster rule. the senate adopted modest limits on the partisan obstruction that's ground action in the chamber to a near stand still and "the new york times" found that senators will be able to talk and talk and talk. joining me now live, nbc news senior political editor mark murray. mark, explain the coverage of this so far. i think "the l.a. times" called an evolution, not a revolution and what some people anticipated what might come. >> well, in the filibuster reform taken off as a measure of democrats, from liberaling who were very frustrated by the change of pace in the u.s. senate. throughout its history, the united states senate has been the world's greatest deliberative body and sometimes they deliberate a little bit too long but the white house
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actually said that they supported the modest measures and it depends on where you are on the united states senate. sometimes when people want quick action now, those people were disappointed but if you believe in evolutional or gradual change as president obama sometimes does, you would end up taking that half or a third of a loaf. >> okay. so progressives, though, certainly have not had a good time hearing about this and specifically coming out and being very stern in reaction to harry reid. take a listen to rachel maddow. >> wow, harry reid, yeah. this is the day everybody was looking forward to in terms of changing how the senate operate and if you hear sad trombones, that's why. after the months, years of promises this time he was going to do it. but hey. at least we'll be able to see them get nothing done faster now. >> all right. so i had a chance to talk with ed schultz in hi hour
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disappointed saying if it's up to mitch mcconnell he would have done this in a hot minute and left harry reid in the dust to make it happen. >> that's the argument of progressives. the counter argument is not just too long ago harry reid senate minority leader and george w. bush began the second term as president and the minority rights you have in the u.s. senate, that requires more than 60 votes to usually get things done, was very instrumental in making sure that the second term of george w. bush wasn't a runaway freight train. now, what is true and i think progressives are coming from is that president obama's first two years in office, there was an unprecedented number of filibuster. it wasn't being used on big matters but on everything. but with the agreement was able to do last night was on some lower court judges as well as lower court cabinet positions, they're easier to pass as well as to be able to pass some procedural moves. very incremental change, thomas.
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the white house happy with it. progressives not so much. >> all right. so people that know the movie "mr. smith goes to washington" this is not like that. >> exactly. that was what liberals and progressives wanted the most. if you wanted to actually filibuster, you had to do it on the floor in person as long as it took. that was not part of the refor s s and that left some people disappointed. you can filibuster from your apartment, you can do it from wherever you wanted. >> face-time, mark murray. face-time it in! >> skype it. and there were people who wanted at least some action for if you believe to keep on talking and tie something up, you should be on the senate floor doing it for days and days. >> pretty amazing. thank you. good to see you, sir. >> thanks, thomas. >> more now on what some call the republican plan to rig presidential elections. republicans are looking to change the electoral college system and battleground states that democrats have won in the last two cycles and that includes the state of virginia where the president won all 13
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electoral votes. now, get this. if the plan republicans are pushing was already in effect, mitt romney would have earned nine of those votes putting the commonwealth in his column. judith brown dianis is an expert on voting rights issues. judith, explain the state of virginia could basically vote on this measure as early as next week. do they have the juice to pull this off? >> well, you know, this is really just a continuation of what we saw in 2011 and 2012 with republicans really trying to manipulate the voting system. so that they can win. and so, what we're seeing in virginia is that they're lining up to change the way that votes get counted for president so that in 2016 we will see a difference. and, you know, they control the legislature. and so, here you have them lining up to say, we're not going to do it the way it should be done and not having the popular vote, meaning each and
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every one of the votes count and then the president would get, you know, the winner takes all. instead, we're going to do it by congressional district. but by the way, we've drawn the lines so that republicans can have all control over congressional districts so our guy will win. >> this is gerrymandering at the best. packing and stacking to make it happen. four states where this is currently being considered. virginia just one of them, as well as ohio, michigan and pennsylvania. i had a chance to speak with our ed schultz earlier today and listen to his reaction about this. >> it's a wake-up call to every grass roots organization in this country to win at state level to protect the national election. the republicans aren't doing this because there's a lack of representation. they're doing this to win the executive branch. they're doing this because they don't want a democrat in the white house. and they have realized the power at the local level. >> all right. so judith, as we talk about virginia specifically, there are
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two virginia republican senators opposing the bill coming out saying they're not in favor of doing this. they think that it's basically doomed in the senate. as i said, i mean, what are the chances that they will be able to collectively, those that are in favor of this, get the power to pull this off next week? >> there's a very good chance. i mean, you know, partisan politics wins out. people will line themselves up behind this because they know they think for the republican party this is for the greater good. and so, we really have to think about the fact that we continue to see politicians manipulating the election system. committing voter fraud on us. you know, making sure that they get to win. they change -- because they couldn't win what they do is they change the rules of the game. they're rigging the election system so that in 2016 they'll be able to do it and i'm pretty sure they will line up their party and they'll all vote in unison. >> as people know who follow the
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makeup of the electoral college know that nebraska and maine have this system in place. using that example, why isn't this something that can work in certain states? other battleground states. >> well, i mean, you know, what we're concerned about is in particular places where you have large cities or where the republicans have actually concentrated, especially communities of color, in to one district. that means that those folks are not going to have a real voice because they'll get one vote and then the votes in the electoral college will be scattered so the voting power of communities of color in particular diluted and republicans were really smart to make sure when they took over state legislatures it was in a year where redistricting happened and divide political power and so they decided in it a way in which they can win in the end. >> incumbents control the map right there. great to see you. thank you for your time. >> thanks, thomas. advocates of same-sex
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marriage celebrating today. the rhode island house of representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill that would allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. currently rhode island is the only new england state without such a law but as the ap reports today, it could be weeks or months before the senate takes up that bill and leaders say it faces more opposition when it does. frank ferry voted for the bill and joins us now. complain, obviously, overwhelming support and why should this be delayed or people fear it will be delayed moving over to the senate? >> thank you, thomas. appreciate to have the opportunity to be on. i don't see it that way. i see it that i've been working on this for many years and we've come a long way. we have momentum. if it takes a few weeks, that is good. we'll use the few weeks to build our momentum. we have a lot of groundwork going. we're contacting the senators, working hard to make sure we get
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to the finish line. >> all right. so there are opponents of this moving forward. the executive director of the national organization for marriage. we have interviewed them many times. >> sure. >> he is the person who is in charge of national organization for marriage in rhode island saying rhode island has bigger issues than gay marriage. we are tied for the worst unemployment rate in the nation. there's a lot of things on the agenda between now and whenever the senate decides to take this up. do you think that's fair criticism that there are bigger issues on the books to deal with than marriage equality right now in the state of rhode island? >> well, for me personally and the thousands of people in my position, me and my husband together for 32 years, this is a huge issue for us. i'm on finance committee in the house. i'm also the sub chair of general government. we'll be working hard on the economy. i'm doing a lot of research. i'm spending a lot of time in hearings. we're working on that. but this is a big issue for us. you know, what's funny about christopher plant. he's my constituent and i was
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unopposed in the last election. i work hard for the district. they know i'm working on education, working on the economy. they know what i'm doing. they support me and they support me as a gay man. >> frank, so last year, some people may know that rhode island's governor signed in to law the fact that marriage is performed in other states recognized in rhode island. you bring up the fact you married your husband. why isn't that good enough for you? >> because something different is -- separate is never equal. the only way it's going to be equal is when we have marriage because everybody understands marriage. we know marriage and what it means and conveys. it knows what it tells people. so personally, i won't stop until we have full marriage equality. >> do you think you have the momentum? after watching the election in november and saw the ballot measures that took place around the country, the four different ones where people voted overwhelmingly in favor of marriage equality, do you feel
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that the wind's at your back on this issue and the ocean state is going to see the sea change of marriage equality? >> oh, i feel it. i know we do. i've been testifying at the state house before i was a representative. since 1998 i've been testifying. i have seen the momentum. i have seen the change and the change of heart. as we lgbt community just -- as more of us open and out and just doing our every day lives as openly gay people, it's changed minds. it's won over -- people just realize that we're just like everybody else. we deserve the same rights. >> the bill passed overwhelmingly through the house 51-19. frank, thank you for your time and keep up the good work. >> thank you. i appreciate it also. >> absolutely. next, live to cairo where thousands of people gathered to mark the two-year anniversary of the egyptian uprising. plus, which company finally surpassed apple as the world's
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developing right now, want to show you what's coming out of cairo. this is the large crowd that's gathered in tahrir square writ's 9:47. that's where egypt's historic revolution began two years ago and today egyptians marking that anniversary with clashes in different parts of the country. nbc's aman mulhadene joins us live. what are you seeing? >> reporter: good evening. we are 12 stories up from street level in the office, live shot position. two offices down from the ministry of information and the government mouthpiece, really. all night long there's clashes of protesters and the police.
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it's very lethal and from where we're standing, it is blowing up here pretty strongly for a couple of hours but down on the street, protesters have been burning tires, clashing with police. not just outside the government television building but also outside the presidential palace in one of cairo's neighborhoods and also in a street adjacent to tahrir square where the ministry of interior is housed. in areas that we have describing, the police and these proteers clashing because they've been angered by president morsi and the muslim brotherhood whom they say not representing egypt's diversity and saying that the way that the revolution is handled and the transition to democracy botched, mismanaged and now they want the government to do something about it. there's still a great sense of anger of those out there. that loud burst another teargas
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canister fired to the protesters. thomas? >> talk more about that. as you point out, owe're 12 stories up but i notice how you're blinking and how it's affected you. for people down on the streets it must be powerful teargas. >> reporter: absolutely. we went down there a little bit earlier and spent time with the protesters. trying to cover their faces and eyes. they don't have any teargas masks. many using like surgical equipment to cover their mouth and faces but the police have been very aggressive in trying to keep them away from government buildings. they have said that protesters have the right to demonstrate but they don't have the right to storm government buildings. now, we are not sure why the protesters are trying to storm some of these buildings if, in fact, they are trying to storm them but they're going where the police are and leading to the confrontations that you can probably hear behind me, thomas. >> ayman from cairo, thanks so much. i appreciate it.
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the flu has now spread to all 50 states and that is topping our look at stories around the nation today. the centers for disease control reporting flu activity remains elevated in most of the country and appears to be leveling off. so far, 37 children died of the flu. half of all the people hospitalized with the virus are 65 and older. a judge holding secret hearings in the case of the man convicted in the murder of d.c. intern chandra levy. court records show that the hearings over the last few weeks and neither prosecution or defense lawyers are saying why. levy disappeared in 2001. her remains were found a year later. there was a conviction based on the testimony of a former cellmate. apple lost the top spot. world's most valuable company. exxon makes that claim after apple shares fell. apple became the most valuable company of all time last august valued at $622 billion.
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but its stock slid by nearly 25% over the last 6 months. our gut check is next and earlier we told you how republicans trying to change the electoral rules to give themselves a big advantage in presidential elections. what do you think? should the electoral college or the popular vote decide elections? join "news nation" on facebook. my insurance rates are probably gonna double.
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all right. there's a lot going on today and here's some of the things we thought you should know. anti-abortion rights demonstrators are gathered. thousands turned out to mark the 40th anniversary of the roe versus wade. the supreme court decision that legalized abortion. former presidential candidate rick santorum among the speakers calling for overturning the zwigs. republican senator chambliss says he will not seek re-election next year.
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the head of the democratic senatorial campaign committee said democrats will try to win back that seat saying georgia is one of the best pickup opportunity in the next election. time now for the "gut check." we told you about the republican plan to change the way that the u.s. presidents are elected. republicans in pennsylvania, michigan, ohio and virginia want to do away with the current winner takes all approach in favor of awarding votes by congressional districts, better positions the gop to retake the white house come 2016. our first read team writes, quote, the proposed changes would speed up to efforts to have the popular vote and not the electoral college decide presidential contests because many would see that as a fairer system. what does your gut tell you? which do you think is the fairer system? electoral college or the popular vote? go to facebook.com/newsnation. cast your vote there. take a look at what we're saying
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about yesterday. do you agree with the decision to allow women to fight in combat roles? take a peek here. 76% of you said yes. 24% said, no. all right. that's going to do it for this edition of "news nation." kathleen king had a successful bakery business in the hamptons but a partnership that went sour resulted in her losing it. left with a store front and a recipe, she started tate's. she now makes more than 2 million cookies a week with more than $10 million in sales. ♪ i'd like to thank eating right, whole grain, multigrain cheerios! mom, are those my jeans? [ female announcer ] people who choose more whole grain tend to weigh less than those who don't.
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